Sunday, June 28, 2009

We all have the ability to create

So get out there & create something beautiful.


Saturday, June 27, 2009

Sunday Favorites-Electric Bill

It's time for Sunday Favorites hosted by Chari at Happy to Design. Be sure to visit her to find this weeks participants.

Now I know I said I was going to do all my blog parties on my new blog Starshine Chic, but since this is a personal story, and not a decorating story, I thought I would repost it here on the blog I originally wrote it on. Was that too long of a sentence? I originally posted this story on 7/9/08.

OUCH!!! Just received my electric bill from Southern California Edison. I almost fainted! It was $370.84. Keep in mind that this is for electricity only. Nothing else is included such as natural gas (a different company does our gas). Oh, and my bill includes a $50.00 discount because I signed up for their program where they can shut off my air conditioner at any time if there is a power emergency or shortage.

I know it's been hot here in southern California, but I only run my air conditioner on the weekends. I don't run it during the week. We don't even run our pool pump for as long as we are suppose to each day. I'd hate to see what my bill would be if I ran my air conditioning each day & if we ran the pool pump for 8 hours a day.

Maybe it's because we do run fans 24/7 in each room & most rooms have at least 2 fans going. But with the outside temps being between 95-108, we need some sort of relief. Plus we have a ton of electronic equipment that seem to be going all the time.

I know going "green" is the big “in” thing, but how do you get the family to comply? I keep telling them we need to cut back on our electrical & water usage. I'm thinking more about my pocket book than the environment when I say this, but whatever motivates us to change, is a good thing.

I wish I could afford solar panels or a wind turbine. I would love not to pay an electric bill & afford to run my air 24/7 during the summer. I'm so glad we at least have a pool. That is the only way I can afford to stay cool this summer. I get in the pool when I get home from work for about 1/2 hour, when I get out, I live in my swimming suit the rest of the evening so that I stay cooler.

I also wish I could afford gasoline so we could go somewhere for the weekend & let someone else pay for air conditioning, but alas, we are usually stuck at home because we can't afford the gas to go somewhere else.

Life is getting too expensive!! I hate to see what my electric bill will be like for August & September, as they are usually the hottest months here in southern California.

What is your electric bill like during the summer? What is your family doing to conserve energy?

Update 06/27/09: I haven't received my June bill for this year, but bill for May was $280.00 & I have not run the air conditioning at all. We've had a cool June this year, so hopefully my bill won't be as high as last year. But if I get another huge bill this summer, you can bet you will all hear about it. I get a $50.00 credit on my bill for the months of June, July & August for letting the electric company have acccess to turn off my air conditioner if the state issues a power alert (not enough power to go around). Last year was my first year & they never had to turn it off.


Friday, June 26, 2009

My tribute to Farrah & Michael

I am a little sad at the passing of not one but two icons from my teenage/young adult life. I remember back in the late 70's, early 80's that no one was bigger than Farrah Fawcett & Michael Jackson.

Who can forget Farrah in her poster? Or Charlie's Angels? I loved that show. Her smile, her hair! And everyone loved Michael Jackson. Who can forget the moonwalk? Or crotch grabbing? (OK, that one I wish I could forget.) Or Thriller? No one was bigger than him at that time. I loved to go dancing & loved to dance to Michael Jackson. His music stirred you to dance.

You know how they say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery? Then Farrah & Michael should be very flattered.

My teenage years were spent trying to look like Farrah. Who didn't want her gorgeous hair? Or her smile? Well, I couldn't come close on the smile, but the hair, I gave it my best shot.

Example #1:

1981: Here is my family minus Eric (he was on his mission in Salt Lake City at the time). Dad, Jodi, Mom, Todd, Andrea & me. This was taken in Grandma & Grandpa Manning's backyard right before Todd left for his mission to Adelaide Australia. Did you notice that I wasn't the only one sporting the "Farrah". Jodi gave it her best shot with her short dark curly hair and Andrea sported the look as well, but with bangs. But my hair was the best. Don't you agree? Check out Mom's fro. She thought she was too old for the "Farrah".

Example #2:
Eric & me taken in Salt Lake City while he was on his mission. This was taken in 1980 or 81. And it was his "P" day aka: personal day or day off. I loved my hair like this. This is one of my favorite photos. Everyone thought Eric & I were the twins in our family when it was actually Jodi & Todd that were the twins.

You can see more old photos of me with the "Farrah" in the post before this about my friend Janice. You can find it by clicking here.

Now I personally never imitated Michael Jackson, but I did love his music & loved to dance to his songs. But my nephew Noah (Andrea's youngest) loves to imitate Michael. Here is a video of Noah singing "Billy Jean" by Michael Jackson. Jodi originally posted this when we started this family blog, but I thought it was appropriate to post it again.

Well I hope you enjoyed my little tribute to Farrah & Michael. What impact, if any, did they have on your life?

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

My newest obsession

I have a new obsession. And it's called Facebook. Are you a member? Want to be my friend? I finally joined Facebook. Better late than never I guess. You've got to remember that I just joined My Space last year. I've never been known to be hip & current. A little behind the times is more my style.

Well in joining today I got the fun task of looking up old friends that I have lost touch with over the years. One of those people is my friend Janice. Now Janice was my room mate when I lived in Provo in the early 80's. She was also my friend along with our friend Brenda. But Janice was my bestest friend. I didn't know Janice before she became my room mate. We were lucky, we just hit it off & became friends right away.

I'm sorry to say that we lost touch with one another over the years. So I was so happy when she accepted my friend invite & she even instant messaged me. We had a good IM chat & brought each other up to date with each others lives & families.

When I got home tonight I decided that I would find some old photos of Janice & I when we were bestest friends. She is going to kill me for this.

So without further adieu I give you Janice:

This is how I will always remember Janice. Sticking her tongue out for photos. She was a riot.

Here we are in our feetsy pajamas showing our love for one another. And no, we are not gay. Just best friends.
We had a total of 6 girls who shared a 3 bedroom apartment. Most of us didn't know each other before being room mates. We not only shared a room upstairs in the apartment, but we were lucky enough to also share the dungeon bedroom with the spiral staircase. That was the prime bedroom. Here we are hanging off the staircase. We were the most shy & reserved kind of girls. What you don't believe me? Did you notice the "Starshine forever" sign on the wall? I used to write Starshine forever on everything. I was Starshine. See where I came up with Starshine Chic name for my other blog?
Janice & I dressed up for Halloween 1981. Did you notice my black hair? I dyed it for Halloween. I was night time. Can you guess what Janice was?
Janice, me & our other best friend Brenda. The three of us did most everything together. This was taken in Salt Lake at Trolley Square.
And finally we have Janice & Larry's wedding. I was a bridesmaid. I loved our bridesmaid outfits as we could wear them more than once. Just take off the sash & bow.
I had a fun time going through photos of Janice & I. Janice was always a hoot. We had the most fun together. I really wish that we lived closer, but she lives in Utah & I live in California. Did you notice how skinny I was in these photos? This is the thinnest I have ever been. I will never be this thin again. And did you notice my Farrah Fawcett hairstyle? I loved it!!!

Well I hope that Janice doesn't mind that I posted photos of her & me. Janice rarely took a normal photo. That is what I loved about her. I miss her & I am so happy that we have reconnected.

Who have you reconnected with? And what is your latest obsession?


Tuesday, June 23, 2009

How much do you make an hour?

I got this email from Andrea & I thought that it was worth sharing.

A man came home from work late, tired and irritated, to find his 5-year old son waiting for him at the door.

SON: 'Daddy, may I ask you a question?'

DAD: 'Yeah sure, what it is?' replied the man.

SON: 'Daddy, how much do you make an hour?'

DAD: 'That's none of your business. Why do you ask such a thing?' the man said angrily.

SON : 'I just want to know. Please tell me, how much do you make an hour?'

DAD: 'If you must know, I make $50 an hour.'

SON: 'Oh,' the little boy replied, with his head down.

SON: 'Daddy, may I please borrow $25?'

The father was furious, 'If the only reason you asked that is so you can borrow some money to
buy a silly toy or some other nonsense, then you march yourself straight to your room and go to
bed. Think about why you are being so selfish. I don't work hard every day for such childish frivolities.'

The little boy quietly went to his room and shut the door.

The man sat down and started to get even angrier about the little boy's questions. How dare he
ask such questions only to get some money?

After about an hour or so, the man had calmed down , and started to think:

Maybe there was something he really needed to buy with that $25.00 and he really
didn't ask for money very often The man went to the door of the little boy's room and opened the

'Are you asleep, son?' He asked.

'No daddy, I'm awake,' replied the boy.

'I've been thinking, maybe I was too hard on you earlier' said the man.. 'It's been a
long day and I took out my aggravation on you. Here's the $25 you asked for.'

The little boy sat straight up, smiling. 'Oh, thank you daddy!' he yelled. Then, reaching under his
pillow he pulled out some crumpled up bills.

The man saw that the boy already had money, started to get angry again.

The little boy slowly counted out his money, and then looked up at his father.

'Why do you want more money if you already have some?' the father grumbled.

'Because I didn't have enough, but now I do,' the little boy replied.

'Daddy, I have $50 now. Can I buy an hour of your time? Please come home early
tomorrow. I would like to have dinner with you.'

The father was crushed. He put his arms around his little son, and he begged for his forgiveness.

It's just a short reminder to all of you working so hard in life.
We should not let time slip through our fingers without having spent some time with those who
really matter to us, those close to our hearts. Do remember to share that $50 worth of your time
with someone you love.

We all can learn form this message. Lets take time to listen to what our children have to say.

If we die tomorrow, the company that we are working for could easily replace us in a matter of
hours. But the family & friends we leave behind will feel the loss for the rest of their lives.

Something to think about. How much do you make an hour? Now go give your family some of your time.


Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Father's Day

I want to wish Happy Father's Day to my Dad and to my hubby (even though he is not my dad).

I have the bestest dad in the whole wide world. At least in my whole wide world. He has always been there for me & I know he would do anything for me. You can't ask for more than that.

Happy Father's Day Dad! I love you!!!

And to Mike: You are a terrific father (even if your boys don't always think so). I know that you want the best for your boys and would do anything for them. I hope that someday they will appreciate all that you do for them. And thanks for being a friend & role model for my son. It means the world to me.

Happy Father's Day honey!!



And Happy Father's Day to the rest of you dads. Now go enjoy your day!

Animated Father's Day Myspace Fathers Day Graphics

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Who doesn't love a wedding?

Last Saturday Mike & I traveled down to Jamul to attend Mike's great niece's wedding & reception. Now before I start I guess I should give you a little background on Mike's family.

Mike is the youngest of 4 children. His oldest brother Val passed away about 5 years ago. Val was like my Dad's age. His oldest sister Dixie lives in Oregon & is about 3 years younger than my mom. Then Mike's youngest sister is Ginny aka Ginger, she lives in Oregon too. She is 15 years older than Mike. They are all his half siblings. So Mike pretty much grew up as an only child as his siblings were so much older than him. Mike's dad passed away in 1982 & his mom passed away in 2005 at the age of 91. Mike's mom was more like a Nana to me than a mother in law as she was my grandmothers age. I loved her dearly & truly miss her.

Mike's sister Dixie has 4 children: Jamee, Suzy, John & Scott (Scott passed away about 2 years ago). It was Dixie's son Johns (Mike's nephew) daughter Jennifer aka: Jen who was getting married.

Now because Mike's siblings are all quite a bit older than him, his nephew & nieces were around his same age, if not just a bit younger. They were more like cousins to Mike than nieces & nephews. And his nephews & nieces children were actually more like his nieces & nephews, but they are actually great nieces & nephews. Have I confused you all? I thought so.

So anyways, it was Mike's great niece Jennifer that was getting married to Cory. The wedding & reception was at the Steele Canyon Country Club in Jamul, CA. It started at 4pm. The weather ended up being perfect for the wedding. For the 3 weeks prior & this past week, it had been overcast everyday. So we were all happy that the weather, the day & location were perfect.

After the wedding the reception was held indoors in a greenhouse type room. It was decorated very nice. There was chips, salsa & guacamole as well as soft drinks & a no host bar. How does anyone afford to pay for drinks at weddings? They were $6.00 a drink. I was so glad that I don't drink alcohol & that the soft drinks were free.

For dinner they had a Mexican buffet with salad, enchiladas, chicken fajitas & all the fixings. It was so yummy and you could have all you could eat. My kind of wedding dinner.

There was toasts to the bride & groom, a video montage of the happy couple, cutting of the cake, father/daughter dance, groom/mother dance, honeymoon money dance and then regular dancing. It was a fun time. We left about 9pm (party was still going strong) as we had to drive home which takes about one & a half hours.

I've put together a little slideshow of the day & evening. The photos are of Mike's family
1) His sister Dixie
2) Dixie's son & Mike's nephew John's family: The bride Jennifer, her new husband Cory. The father of the bride John, his wife Bev, sister of the bride Brianna.
3) Dixie's daughter & Mike's niece Suzy. She fly out from Texas. Suzy's son Josh, his wife Leticia & their 2 girls (I'm totally drawing a blank on their names). They drove down from Reno, NV. Suzy is married & has 6 children & 4 grandchildren but only 1 of her son's & his family came to the wedding.
4) Dixie's other daughter Jamee (Mike's niece from Lakeside) & her daughter Carrie. Jamee is married & has 2 children, but only one came.
5) Dixie's grandson Ryan (her late son & Mike's nephew Scott's son).
6) Then there is a photo of Jen with her grandpa Tommy (Dixie's ex husband, father of John, ex brother in law to Mike).

Whew! Did you get all that? There will be a test at the end of this post. Just kidding! Now go enjoy the photos.

Click to play this Smilebox slideshow: Jen & Cory's Wedding
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I hope that you enjoyed the slideshow even if you didn't know anybody (except for moi, and maybe Mike). But at least you now know a little more about Mike's family. Oh, and they all call me Kimmy (except for Suzy's family who calls me Aunt Tubby, but that's another story for another day, lol). I always know when someone calls me Kimmy, that I have met them through Mike, or his family.

And don't forget that I have another blog that will be for my decorating & blog party stuff. It's called Starshine Chic & you can find it by clicking here.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

I have a very important announcement

Hear ye, hear ye! (insert trumpet sounds here). All ye good readers of the Manning Family Tree blog. Kim the head poster here at Manning Family Tree has a very important announcement.

Do I have your attention? Especially you Jodi, this one is for you:

I have a new blog! Yup, you heard me right, I am starting a separate blog for my blog parties and decorating stuff. I am so excited!!! That way I won't be taking up space on our family blog with this stuff. I heard rumblings from some (or maybe one) family member who will remain anonymous (odijay) who didn't like that I was posting decorating & blog party stuff on the family blog. So I have now started a new blog called STARSHINE CHIC.

You can visit my new blog Starshine Chic by clicking here. Or by going to

This Manning Family Tree blog will now only be for family photos & family stuff. Are you happy now anonymous family member? I'm just poking fun at my family. We do that with one another. I don't mind having a new blog, I kind of like it better. I can do what I want now. I'm free!!!!

And why did I pick the name Starshine Chic for my new blog? Well mostly because that is my seller name on ebay (when I do sell) and I liked being called Starshine when I was a teenager. Can't remember now why (remember I am 50 years old. Teenage years was a long, long, long time ago). And I like Shabby Chic stuff and I want to be Chic. Does that answer the question?

If you are a follower on this blog (Manning Family Tree), be sure to visit my new blog Starshine Chic & sign up to be a follower there. You can still be a follower here if you enjoy seeing family photos. But if you are just interested in decorating stuff & blog parties, you will definitely want to follow me at Starshine Chic.

And to my family members, now you have no excuse as to why you can not contribute to this, our family blog. I expect to see you participating more, or I will have to come & swat you. Just kidding!

If you have any questions, you can email me at

Thanks for your time, and now come visit my new blog & leave me a comment!!


Monday, June 15, 2009

Happy Birthday Brandon!

Today is my son's 26th birthday. He is going to hate that I am wishing him Happy Birthday on the blog. He doesn't like being in the limelight. But I am a proud mama, so I am going to embarrass him anyways. So here goes:

Happy Birthday Brandon! I love you more than words can express. You are the best son a mother could ask for. I am so proud of the man you have become.

Graphics and Layouts at

Graphics and Layouts at

Myspace Comments from

I hope you have a fabulous birthday even if you keep it low keyed.

Love you forever!


Friday, June 12, 2009

In God We Still Trust

I found this video on Scrappin' Blogs website. I thought it was appropriate with Flag Day coming up this Sunday June 14th and Independence Day coming up on July 4th.

I really like this video it & I hope that you do too. It's called In God We Still Trust by Diamond Rio. If you want to watch the video full screen, just click on the far right button.

If you want to get the code to put it on your own blog or website, go to:


Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Outdoor Wednesday-Gazebos & Statue

Last month when we went to the Nixon Library in Yorba Linda, CA we saw a statuary business on the side of the 91 freeway. Now Mike (hubby) loves to stop at statuary businesses to see what they have. So on the way home from the Nixon Library we decided to stop & see. This particular one is located in Corona, CA on the east bound side of the 91 freeway.

We have seen these beautiful gazebos made with pillars and a metal scrolly dome top. Mike wants to make one of these himself someday, so he likes to stop & get ideas. This place had 3 different ones. I forgot to check the prices, but I'm sure they are super expensive. Way beyond our non existent budget.

Mike found on ebay some forms for making your own concrete pillars. So he thinks he can make his own pillars. And since he knows how to weld, he thinks he could make the metal dome top as well. Probably not as intricate as these, something more simple. I really like the pillars on this gazebo.

This gazebo has benches. I kind of like that idea.

I'm torn between this gazebo & the first gazebo. The pillars are pretty much the same, I just can't decide if I like white pillars or the darker color. I think I'm leaning more towards the white. This one is much bigger than the first as it has 6 pillars instead of 4. I'm sure if Mike tried to make his own, the pillars will be a lot more plain & simple. But isn't it fun to dream of having something so beautiful in your yard?

And finally the real reason Mike likes to look at these types of places is this:

This statue is called the Winged Victory of Somothrace. Isn't she beautiful? The original is located in the Louvre museum in Paris, France and is made out of white marble. We saw it when we were there in 2003. It was Mike's favorite statue. We have a couple of smaller versions of this statue in our house. But Mike has always wanted one for the yard. This is the first statue place that actually had one. We were so excited, that is until we saw the price. $995.00!!!! Statues are expensive. Can you imagine what she would cost if she were white marble like the original? I can't even imagine. So needless to say, we did not take this baby home with us. She stayed at the statue yard. But she would look fabulous in our backyard, next to our pool.

Do you ever window shop at statuary yards?

Now be sure to visit Susan at A Southern Daydreamer to see this weeks participants.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Happy Birthday to my Cuz Marti

Before this day is done, I want to wish a very Happy Birthday to my cousin Marti. Marti is one year older than me.

Happy Birthday Marti!!!

Happy Birthday Comments

I hope that you have had a great day. If not, there is always tomorrow.

I wish that we lived closer so we could hang out with one another. I love getting to know your family through their blogs.

Love you cuz!

Three or More Tuesday-Living Room triplets

This week I decided that I would again participate in Three or More Tuesday hosted by Tam at The Gypsy's Corner. If you have not visited her blog, you must rush on over (after looking at my post first, of course). I love Tam's blog, she takes the most beautiful photos & she has a special talent for setting up vignettes. And while you are visiting Tam's blog, be sure to visit all the other wonderful participants. And maybe next week, you will join in on the fun.

One day I was in my living room (I'm actually in there more than one day, but I'm referring to just one particular day) & noticed all the items that I have displayed in triplet. So the light bulb went on (click) & I thought I would share them with you today.

I've had these 3 fleur de lis finials for quite a number of years. I love the rusty finish they have. I don't even remember when I got them. They sit on a sofa table by my front window.

These blocks were made by my sister in law Jeannette (or maybe it was my nieces). They were my Christmas gift from them last Christmas. I love these! They sit on my sofa table by the front window as well.

I love using old books to add height to a display. Another sofa table display.

Here is a close up of the books used in this display. They all came from the thrift store. I paid 35 cents a piece (it was 1/2 off books day). The books were purchased for their color mostly. But I also liked the titles.

On the buffet in my living room is our (I mean hubby's) Lenox bowl collection. I did a separate Three or More Tuesday post about them. If you are interested, you can read it here.

Three boring candles. I love this candle holder as it reminds me of an old garden gate (that's the real reason for the photo).

Three hat boxes that I use for storage. These came from TJ Maxx last year. I store DVD's & music CD's in them. Did you notice our teal blue carpet? I hate it!!!!! Our entire house is carpeted in this color. It is hard to decorate with this color. I don't mind it in my living room as I have a lot of brown in there, but I hate it in the rest of my house. Some day it will be gone!!!! Not sure which will be gone first, the carpet, or me.

And finally 3 metal suitcases. These sit on the bottom of my sofa table by the front window. I purchased them on clearance from Tender Heart Treasures website a few years ago. They hold some of my ebay supplies. The smallest one holds my vintage image CD's. The middle one stores my packing tape guns & tape. The largest one stores my photo paper, card stock & vintage images that I have printed out.

As you can see, triplets run in my family. You definitely don't want to drink the water if you come to my house. lol.

Thanks for visiting & be sure to take a moment to say "Hi!" And come back now, you hear?


Monday, June 8, 2009

Jesse's High School Graduation

Whew!!! He made it!!!

This past Saturday evening was my stepson Jesse's high school graduation ceremony. For awhile there, we didn't think that Jesse was going to get to graduate. But he managed to pass his Government class, so graduate, he did.

Here is Jesse in our family room just before leaving for graduation. He put his tassel up in front of his face. I took a 2nd photo without the tassel, but of course it turned out fuzzy. So you get this one.

We are so proud of Jesse. School has been quite the struggle for him, but he persevered & it has paid off.
To go to graduation you needed a ticket. They gave out 8 tickets per graduate. Jesse gave 2 tickets to his friends. The rest were used for family. Mike, me, Brandon & my nieces Danica & Taylor. My nephew Cade was suppose to come as well, but he opted to stay home at the last minute.
Danica & Taylor in the stands waiting for graduation to start.

Here is Jesse walking into the stadium. This photo is a bit fuzzy as I cropped it from a larger photo. I only had my little Sony camera & even with the zoom on, he will still quite far away. I don't know why I didn't have Brandon bring his Canon SLR camera with the zoom lens. I guess cause I'm blonde (again).

Jesse at his seat waiting for all the graduates to march in.
Paloma Valley High School 2009 graduating class. Graduation ceremony lasted less than 2 hours. Yipee!!! Last year, my niece Taylor's graduation was more than 3 hours long!!!

My Son Brandon with Taylor & Danica after the graduation ceremony. Trying to find Jesse in the huge crowd.

Jesse after graduation. He was relieved that it was finally over.

Jesse & his proud Papa (Mike)

Our family: Me, Jesse, Mike & Brandon. Jesse's other brother Brandan & his family were not able to make it.

Afterwards we went to dinner at Bob's Big Boy in Temecula. I hadn't eaten at a Bob's Big Boy since the 70's when my brother Eric was a chef at the one in La Mesa. Most of the Bob's Big Boy restaurants went bye bye. But they are now starting to make a comeback. They just opened this one up this past year. The food was OK. The decor & the music they played was great. But I would have rather gone to Red Robin for burgers, but Mike & Jesse wanted to try this burger joint out.
Mike & Jesse posing with the Big Boy mascot. Mike told us stories of how the Big Boy mascot was always getting stolen as a prank back in the 70's. I'll bet it still happens.

We are so proud of Jesse. Now on to the next phase of your life! Time to get a job!

Next Monday I will probably (hopefully) get back to posting my thrifty finds and before & after photos. I did find a couple of pretty fabulous thrifty finds this weekend, but with graduation, I forgot to take photos. So you will just have to wait until next week. And maybe I'll get something done to post before & after photos for Metamorphosis Monday. But don't hold your breath!